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Shannon Burke, Vice-President
Shannon Burke has a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in English Education, both from the University at Buffalo. Shannon has taught both middle and high school at a variety of local public, charter, and private schools. She has presented at NCTE’s annual conference and serves as a mentor for preservice teachers.  As a founding member of WNYNET, Shannon has presented at several local events, focusing primarily on middle school literacy and student-led discussion. She currently teaches seventh grade English Language Arts at Elmwood Village Charter School and is an adjunct instructor at Buffalo State College.


Vanessa Ludwig, Officer​ 

Vanessa has a B.S. and an M.S. Ed. in English Education from Buffalo State College. As an undergraduate student, she co-founded the English Education Student Association and as a graduate student, she was involved in the beginning stages of the English Education Alumni Network. Vanessa currently teaches 8th grade English Language Arts at Tapestry Charter School.


Scott Reimann,Business Manager
Scott Reimann has a B.A. in English from John Carroll University, a M.A. in English from Stony Brook University, and a certification in English Education from the University at Buffalo. Scott has taught both middle and high school at local public and charter schools. Currently, he teaches English and communications courses at Bryant and Stratton College.

Alyssa Moretti, Officer

Alyssa Moretti is a third year English teacher at WNY Maritime Charter Middle School. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College and is currently completing her Master’s degree in English Education. Alyssa has presented at the Alumni Speaker Series and will present at the 2018 NCTE conference. She is a mentor teacher for Buffalo State College and former English Education Student Association (EESA) officer. In her classroom, Alyssa focuses on the integration of art into ELA.

Rene Bonilla, Officer

Rene Bonilla has a B.S. in Childhood Education (1-6) with an English extension (7-9) from Buffalo State College. As an undergraduate student, she was an English Education Student Association officer. She currently teaches fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English Language Arts and Theme Writing at St. Andrew’s Country Day School.

Dr. James Cercone, Director

James Cercone is an Assitant Professor of English Education at Buffalo State. He is also a member of the Tapestry Charter School Board of Trustees, and the Western New York Teacher Center Policy Board. Prior to joining Buffalo State, James was a Clinical Professor of English Education at the University at Buffalo and a former high school English teacher.

The Western New York Network of English Teachers
is a professional social network linking classroom ELA

teachers,teacher educators, and school administrators

with the goal of encouraging and supporting meaningful, progressive teaching in the English Language Arts.

Deborah Bertlesman, President

Deborah Bertlesman is currently the President of the Western New York Network of English Teachers. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from SUNY Geneseo and a M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo. She is continuing her work as a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Science of Learning program. Her research interests include the relationship between New Literacies Studies and Social Justice and how teachers develop identities in Communities of Practice.  She is the 9th grade English Teacher at Frederick Law Olmsted in Buffalo Public Schools. She is interested in inquiry-based models of ELA instruction and creating English classrooms that allow students the opportunity to develop identities as readers, writers, and thinkers. Her work focuses on integration of critical literacy, new literacies, and authentic purposeful writing.

Kristen Pastore-Capuana, Assistant Director

Kristen Pastore-Capuana, assistant professor of English education, joined the SUNY Buffalo State faculty in 2017 after teaching high school English in Western New York for 14 years. Pastore-Capuana received her B.A. at Boston College, and her Ed.M and Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo. Her research interests include critical literacy pedagogy, secondary English language arts teacher development, and teacher advocacy.